Hiking to Inle Lake – day one
We chose a two day hiking trip. You only have to carry what you need for one night and lots of water. The rest of the luggage is taken directly to the final stop ready to collect at the end of the hike. We started at 7.30am with an hours drive to the spot that marks the end of the first day of the three day trip. We met our guide who was called Cam. Cam was great to hang out with and was full of knowledge about the countryside we were walking through which was his home state.
It was chilli season so right from the start of the hike we saw chillis everywhere. They were growing in the fields and drying outside many houses creating bold patchwork arrangements of many shades of red. The colour was incredible especially accompanied by blue sky’s and bright sunshine.
It was fascinating watching all of these industrious cottage industries busy at work preparing produce. Garlic was another item being prepared in great volume we chatted in broken English with this lady and I discovered she was the same age as me. She then apologised for not being glamorous but did agree to this photo which I was very pleased about. I told her she was beautiful but I’m not sure she believed me!
We also met these delightful children in the same village who knew how to say ‘hello’ and ‘bye’ in English. We reciprocated and they continued to say hello about twenty-five times and at least double that with bye! As we walked away down the lane for some distance we could still hear a faint ‘bye’ and much giggling.
The next person we met was this chap who had just harvested some naturally occurring honey which he was wanting to sell to us. Unfortunately we couldn’t buy it as none of us had a container to store it in and it would have been a very sticky thing to hike with but it would have been great to taste it!
From this point on we saw less and less people and more and more wide open spaces.
The hiking trip come with all meals provided and by lunch time we were very ready for a break out of the midday sun. We had an hour to rest and eat before setting off for the afternoon. Lunch was lovely home cooked food and fresh fruit just perfect.
It was served to us by a family in a remote village along the way. We were the first group there so had an upstairs room to ourselves with a great view…After eating we took the welcome opportunity to have forty winks and be horizontal before resuming the hike.
The afternoon was full of beautiful scenery and wide open landscapes. We saw many cows dotted about the countryside, lots of butterflies, birds and even a snake that took my friend by surprise at one point!
Something we became very aware of was the amount of spiders there were in all of the trees along the way. You really needed to keep your eyes open to avoid walking through whole colonies of spiders in their webs it would have not been pleasant to get tangled up with these chaps! As we neared the end of the day we started to notice people again and particularly basket weavers. The area seemed to be a focal point for these particular type of basket. I would have loved to bring one home but obviously was not at all practical unfortunately.
And finally we stopped for a celebratory drink just before the monastery we were spending the night in. This little shop/cafe was home to the most adorable pair of sisters who were very shy but at the same time fascinated by the strange visitors that had arrived.
We tried to chat to the little girl in the red top but she disappeared blushing as she went but returned some time later and presented me with this beautiful string of flowers carefully threaded onto a piece of grass. I was so touched by this gesture and although we couldn’t speak the same language her gesture spoke volumes. She then went away again only to reappear with one each for my friends to. It is these little moments that are priceless and make travelling so delightful reminding you that the essence of the human spirit is so very lovely and words are not always necessary for a meaningful connection to be made.